Found & Lost & Found

elanorpaint

Dove, By Elanor

A few weeks ago a dove nested in the Arbor located on our playground.dove

The kids found it, and soon they were enthusiastically watching the dove watch them, as she sat on her eggs.

I decided to take small groups of children out first thing in the morning to observe and paint her.

outartIn the morning, it is quiet on the playground, with no kids screaming and playing.

We witnessed the papa dove bringing nesting material to the mama and watched as she tucked it into her nest carefully.

What an amazing gift. The small groups all seemed to possess a tranquility and peace as they sat in the early morning light, watching the mama and drawing and painting.

Here are some of their representations:

birdCamille Camille, PreK

reggie paint Reginald, PreK

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Owen, PreK owen paint

David, PreK birdDavid

Danika, PreK birdDanika

Malin, PreK malinpaint

The children were excited to tell the security guard about the dove and show their representations.security

On Monday I returned with a small group to paint. The dove was gone.

birdGone

They painted the empty nest and theorized why she left. They decided they still wanted to paint the birds even thought they weren’t there.

BirdMaren

Maren: “Maybe they left because it’s horrid, not so good. The babies might go on the playground and get stepped on. Maybe she wanted a quiet place.”

birdMary

Mary: “I think they just wanted to visit someone’s house and because the baby birds rolled off the nest and flew.

BirdPaige

Paige: “I think they just wanted a new home instead of here. Maybe in another bird nest or a birdy house, maybe because this house was not too nice.

Maren: “Maybe she came here when no kids were playing on the playground and she said, ”This is a nice quiet place.” And then all the kids came and then she maybe just wanted to fly away and build a nest somewhere else because it wasn’t comfortable.”

They returned to their class and reported the missing bird as well as their theories.  While disappointing, both preK classes have chicken eggs in an incubator in their classroom.

Later that same afternoon there was a group of Kindergarten children in the studio working on their dream house stories, when a rainbow graced itself in a long stretch of the floor under the table. The sunlight managed to hit the water and reflect off an angle of the glass turtle tank in perfection. Estelle and Khalisa dove under the table to investigate. “Look Estelle colored her hair!!”

foundrainbow1

foundrainbow2

Last week it was a an unexpected find in the trash,

LightAlex

LightElanor(Elanor, representation of light)

LightBeck(Beck, representation of light)

LightLydia(Lydia, representation of light)

lightLilahLydia

this week an unexpected find of a nesting dove (and then loss) in nature, and then by days end there was a rainbow wrapping around our feet. Provocations unplanned never cease to amaze me.

Wonder, discovery, metaphor… continue to be profound principles that guide, inspire, and  provoke learning for both the children and the adults. Not only do these unplanned valued interactions promote engagement, they spark possibilities for growth and perhaps projects in the future. They offer conversation. They offer beauty. They offer confusion. They offer possibilities. They offer imaginings.

(Lilah, representation of light) LightLilah

Important work.

PS If you happen to live in the DC MD VA area, I have a piece of art entitled Sparrows, 1-9 at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center. The exhibit is “Greenspiration.” Opening this Sunday, May 16th 2-4pm

sparrow3detail(detail) Sparrow, 1-9 By Marla McLean

Truth found

group

Last Wednesday morning, I was walking my dog. It was 6:30 am, and it was garbage day in my neighborhood. As I went up the street, lo and behold, someone had thrown out an enormous mirrored disco ball. I went over to it, heart pounding and examined it. A few mirrors missing and a small dent. But it was too big to carry and walk my dog. So my poor dog was dragged through his walk, so I could get home and drive to the mirrored sphere and put it in my trunk.alone

When I got to work, I decided to place it on the floor of the studio and turn on one of the overhead projectors to shine on it.

This was to be a pure provocation.

No announcements of it’s arrival or declaration as to what one could do with it. I sat back and watched.

I watched joy and discovery, quiet flickers of  solo encounters

malin mirror teijaup

and group interactions that danced, shouted and whispered.

group2

I watched mystery and suspense.

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I watched poetry.

A moment.

colr

colorlight

Many moments. fairies

And still, I watch.ruby

It is fascinating and engaging for both the children and myself.

So as we ponder what is educational, what is creative, what is important, what is hands on, what is intuitive, what is learned, what is science, what is thinking, what is collaborative and what is reflective…let us remember the possibilities of this encounter.

“Light is the symbol of truth.”
James Russell Lowell

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